Flight Attendants Urge Action on Legislation to Enforce U.S.-EU Open Skies Agreement

Washington, D.C. (April 28, 2016) — The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA (AFA) today praised the introduction of H.R. 5090 that would ensure enforcement of the labor provisions in the U.S.-EU Open Skies agreement. The legislation is led by Rep. Peter DeFazio (D-OR), ranking member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee; Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ), chairman of the Aviation subcommittee; Rep. Rick Larsen (D-WA), ranking member of the Aviation subcommittee; and Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA)

“We applaud the immediate action of Representatives Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, Rick Larsen, Lynn Westmoreland to stop this downward spiral on U.S. aviation and good jobs,” said Sara Nelson, international president of AFA. “Norwegian Air International specifically set up operations in Ireland to avoid labor laws in Norway—a flagrant violation of the labor provisions in the agreement. We implore swift action by all lawmakers to get this legislation adopted in order to uphold labor protections in trade deals, protect good aviation jobs, and ensure the safest aviation system in the world.”

As the Congressional leaders charged with oversight of our U.S. aviation system, Reps. Peter DeFazio, Frank LoBiondo, and Rick Larsen also sent a letter to Secretary Foxx urging the administration to block the Norwegian Air International foreign air carrier permit application due to labor violations.

“My colleagues and I have been clear with DOT that strong labor standards must factor into NAI’s air carrier permit decision. Today, we are introducing legislation that would prohibit DOT from issuing a permit to NAI if doing so would undermine labor standards,” Congressman Larsen said. “Granting an air carrier permit to NAI would say to the world that the U.S. rewards other countries that break their commitments to protecting workers. Our agreements with other countries are only as strong as our ability and willingness to enforce them, which is why I am pushing hard for the U.S. to hold other countries accountable for their end of the deal.”

The Association of Flight Attendants is encouraging members and the traveling public to register individual voices of opposition to the DOT ruling through their website: http://www.afacwa.org/denynai-takeaction

The Association of Flight Attendants-CWA is part of a labor alliance, representing over 200,000 aviation workers, calling on the Obama administration to enforce U.S. trade agreements and defend good jobs and fair competition. Find out more at ttd.org/denynai.


The Association of Flight Attendants is the world’s largest Flight Attendant union. Focused 100 percent on Flight Attendant issues, AFA has been the leader in advancing the Flight Attendant profession for 70 years. Serving as the voice for Flight Attendants in the workplace, in the aviation industry, in the media and on Capitol Hill, AFA has transformed the Flight Attendant profession by raising wages, benefits and working conditions. Nearly 60,000 Flight Attendants come together to form AFA, part of the 700,000-member strong Communications Workers of America (CWA), AFL-CIO. Visit us at www.afacwa.org.

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